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Fat. Can you consume too much fat while eating Paleo?

by (15)
Updated about 13 hours ago
Created May 11, 2011 at 4:37 AM

Since starting the paleo lifestyle, I have been consuming a lot of beef and pork. I lift weights 3 times a week, and I hike 2 twice a week. I feel that the fat helps meet my energy requirements. At first, I was concerned that 50% or more of my calories coming from fat may me overkill. On the other hand, Inuit tribes have a diet of 70% plus of fat and aren???t plagued by heart disease. I was wondering if any experienced/ informed paleo people could shed some light on the issue. Is there an appropriate ratio for animal to plant consumption?

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1300 · May 11, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Our ancestors pursued the fattest animals...fat was a priority and the lean meat was left for the jackals

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8
5132 · May 11, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Cordain and Art De Vany.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083
2399 · May 11, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Veganism is also a "valid choice", Shari ;)"Paleo" is NOT a religion and there aren't any Popes. If Kurt G. Harris switched to grains, most here (hopefully) won't.

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284 · May 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM

thanks, shari, good point! :) anyways, yes, i follow Cordain's philosophy. the reason why i believe in leaner is better is because i try to lose weight, and it is just logical to function with the calories in/out principle. i am not counting calories, but i do not add any other fat sources to my meats or vegetables. the fat from the meat (yes, even lean meat has fat) is enought to to take in the vitamins from the vegetables...

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1811 · May 11, 2011 at 2:57 PM

This has been my experience too. For me, squeezing in all the extra fat was not only unnecessary but it gave me a stomach ache.

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24271 · May 11, 2011 at 2:36 PM

I believe Verena follows Cordain's recommendations and that's a valid choice. It may not be the choice that most of us make but there is a low fat voice in the Paleo community and they aren't a bunch of morons but simply people following a leader who thinks a little differently about fat. Verena it might be helpful for you to mention Cordain when you talk about low fat so that people understand where you are coming. You'll still have people disagreeing with you but I think you'll get more respect for your choices.

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110 · May 11, 2011 at 2:12 PM

verena - fat doesn't make you fat.

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110 · May 11, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I disagree that the meats should be lean in a paleo diet. If you're consuming no grains and little starches, you need to get energy in your body in the form of animal fats and good vegetable fats (like coconut oil), and you need a lot of it.

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668 · May 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM

this sounds like torture. I hate lean meats.

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919 · May 11, 2011 at 10:27 AM

and too much fructose

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2399 · May 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

I think this fails into "faileo" because with no coconut and no diary, where is the fat ?

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78422 · May 11, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Same as Dexter.

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284 · May 11, 2011 at 6:30 AM

Good luck! :) i am trying around myself, but i am scared to eat too much fat because i want to lose weight...

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15 · May 11, 2011 at 6:04 AM

duely noted. thanks.

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15 · May 11, 2011 at 6:03 AM

I do not consume dairy or anything off the paleo approved foods list. Im three weeks in and havent seen any negative side effects, but im looking at the long term. thanks for your advise.

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6 Answers

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15976 · May 11, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Its possible to overeat too much OF ANYTHING. Each macronutrient - protein, carb, fat - are simply tools that you can use depending on your goal.

For me, after the first six months or so of purposefully consuming large amounts of fat and then tapering that extraordinary intake down bit by bit, I've found that I get enough fat in my eating just by consuming the fat that is intrinsically in the meat I eat, and the cooking medium like coconut oil, etc. I have no need for eating butter sticks, extra coconut all the time, etc.

Fat is good, tasty, health-promoting. I believe that entirely. I simply don't think we have to really go out of our way to get in that that much. Surely you can if you wish, but for performance I don't feel you must.

Going on a bit of a tangent, I'd say that a lot of the fat-love in the paleo community now is perhaps a lot of rebellion agaist tne conventional wisdom - we' ve all been raised to fear it and so now we must unduly love it. Its not black and white. Fat is just another food group, macro, whatever you wanna call it. Use it as the tool it is.

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1811 · May 11, 2011 at 2:57 PM

This has been my experience too. For me, squeezing in all the extra fat was not only unnecessary but it gave me a stomach ache.

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9948 · May 11, 2011 at 5:31 AM

I eat less than 5% carbs, 10-15% protein, 75-80% fat...mostly from coconut oil and olive oil. Two meals a day...breakfast and dinner...no snacks in between. No dairy anymore, a few macademia nuts but no others.

Am in ketosis most of the time and have not felt any better..ever...that is from a 68yo.

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15 · May 11, 2011 at 6:04 AM

duely noted. thanks.

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78422 · May 11, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Same as Dexter.

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2399 · May 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Complex.

Which fat ? How many calories ? What is your typical daily menu ? It's all about the context someone might say, hehe.

Good threads: http://paleohacks.com/questions/30514/frustrated-about-different-paleo-information-how-much-fat#axzz1LwuY09qk

http://paleohacks.com/questions/22871/how-much-fat-should-i-actually-consume#axzz1LwuY09qk

And welcome ! Both of you.

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3521 · May 11, 2011 at 1:47 PM

I don't know if you could consume too much fat eating Paleo. I think it all depends on your goals. Are you looking to lose weight? To gain? I am personally trying to gain weight so I am eating close to 1/4 a pound of tallow a day, plus added coconut fat from coconut milk and oil. My average fat intake is close to 330 grams.

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15405 · May 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM

One thing about the Paleo diet which is useful and powerful and also against the conventional wisdom is that eating fat is ok, in fact eating a large % of your calories in fat is ok. You can read up on the science and justification for this on blogs such as Mark's Daily Apple and the book "Nourishing Traditions" and other information from the Weston Price Foundation and Sally Fallon.

I personally think that a low fat diet is very hard to eat and is bad for me, I would be constantly hungry and would tend to overeat. I also think that saturated fat and cholesterol are actually good for you and nourish and protect your body rather than damaging it as we have been taught. This I think is the primary explanation for the "French paradox" -- the fact that the French eat a lot of saturated fat yet and drink and smoke a lot yet remain healthier than people who suffer with foods whose fat have been artificially stripped out.

This doesn't mean that you can't over do it. If you are trying to lose weight on Paleo and indiscriminately eat fat and oil by the cup, you're not going to lose weight. You might improve your insulin response and energy level, but you might also gain weight.

Some folks here talk about eating 2 pounds of meat a day including cream and coconut oil smoothies and that kind of thing, but they don't always say if they are losing/gaining weight or if they're trying to. Some people eat Paleo to lose weight, some to gain weight, some to address medical situations, and some to just feel better. I think it is misleading for someone who is trying to lose weight to read someone's blog entry about eating 3000 calories a day and think that is good for them, when the two people have totally different diet/fitness goals yet are both eating Paleo.

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284 · May 11, 2011 at 5:43 AM

In my eyes you can. I would advice to stick with paleo basics: lean, grass fed meats and all the veggies and fruits you like...no milk products, no grains, no sugar and no processed food...good luck!

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110 · May 11, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I disagree that the meats should be lean in a paleo diet. If you're consuming no grains and little starches, you need to get energy in your body in the form of animal fats and good vegetable fats (like coconut oil), and you need a lot of it.

8a8129d053df7365c6529b0c2ac95efb
284 · May 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM

thanks, shari, good point! :) anyways, yes, i follow Cordain's philosophy. the reason why i believe in leaner is better is because i try to lose weight, and it is just logical to function with the calories in/out principle. i am not counting calories, but i do not add any other fat sources to my meats or vegetables. the fat from the meat (yes, even lean meat has fat) is enought to to take in the vitamins from the vegetables...

19eedcc966e18e2864383fa53dcb80f6
110 · May 11, 2011 at 2:12 PM

verena - fat doesn't make you fat.

41bee12ca3d18c0be54d132846bb8b47
15 · May 11, 2011 at 6:03 AM

I do not consume dairy or anything off the paleo approved foods list. Im three weeks in and havent seen any negative side effects, but im looking at the long term. thanks for your advise.

8a8129d053df7365c6529b0c2ac95efb
284 · May 11, 2011 at 6:30 AM

Good luck! :) i am trying around myself, but i am scared to eat too much fat because i want to lose weight...

3c997ffae3db9464325b96979346d9e9
1300 · May 11, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Our ancestors pursued the fattest animals...fat was a priority and the lean meat was left for the jackals

2f54dbe892ec89b12d1db686568e885a
919 · May 11, 2011 at 10:27 AM

and too much fructose

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc
24271 · May 11, 2011 at 2:36 PM

I believe Verena follows Cordain's recommendations and that's a valid choice. It may not be the choice that most of us make but there is a low fat voice in the Paleo community and they aren't a bunch of morons but simply people following a leader who thinks a little differently about fat. Verena it might be helpful for you to mention Cordain when you talk about low fat so that people understand where you are coming. You'll still have people disagreeing with you but I think you'll get more respect for your choices.

7b494127ac67e85e572c5222aaee9b4d
668 · May 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM

this sounds like torture. I hate lean meats.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083
2399 · May 11, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Veganism is also a "valid choice", Shari ;)"Paleo" is NOT a religion and there aren't any Popes. If Kurt G. Harris switched to grains, most here (hopefully) won't.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8
5132 · May 11, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Cordain and Art De Vany.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083
2399 · May 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

I think this fails into "faileo" because with no coconut and no diary, where is the fat ?

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